American tourist dies in Ugandan gorilla reserve

KAMPALA, Uganda - An American tourist collapsed and died after viewing rare mountain gorillas in southwestern Uganda.

The U.S. Embassy reported that Harlan Williams, 34, of Arlington, Va., died Saturday in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, where he had gone to see the gorillas.

Police spokesman Asuman Mugenyi said Williams, who arrived in Uganda on Sept. 7, ''just collapsed, probably of heart failure. He had gone strictly for gorilla viewing.''

Mirjan Blaak, who organized the tour, said Williams was on the fourth leg of an African trip, which had taken him to South Africa and Uganda's neighbors, Tanzania and Kenya.

The number of tourists going to see the gorillas, an endangered species, declined drastically after rebel Rwandan Hutu militiamen killed nine people, including two Americans, in the park in March 1999.

There are an estimated 650 of the shy primates in the world, and half of them are believed to live in Bwindi's tropical forest, Blaak said. The others live in the same mountain range in neighboring Rwanda and Congo.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment